WHAT IS A ‘SCROG’?
The term ‘SCROG’ is a sort of an acronym with a twist: SCReen Of Green.
The ‘screen’ refers to the mesh that is used to manipulate the growth of the cannabis plant in a horizontal direction (as opposed to vertically up towards the light). Growers make use of cropping, super cropping, topping and mainlining to manipulate the growth of plant into a blanket-like structure, guided by the grower’s choice of ‘mesh’.
Ready-made manufactured mesh is available in different shapes and sizes, and they’re usually made of nylon, plastic or metal. Some growers use fishing net or chicken wire as a mesh. Most growers build their own mesh using materials such as hemp ropes, wire, washing line, bamboo, etc. (This is another area of growing cannabis where you can get creative; find what best suits your unique grow spot!)
As opposed to the ‘sea of green’ method, your cannabis plants should not be placed close together. They will need a lot more space to ‘spread out’ as they grow. The point of growing with a SCROG is to harvest maximum yields from minimal plants.
The height of the mesh will depend on the strain being grown. Sativa strains tend to grow taller than indica strains, and will need more height between the base of the plant and the mesh.
Once the cannabis plant reaches the grower’s desired height, the main growth points need to be ‘topped’ or ‘fimmed’ (Fuck I MissED). This way, the plant is forced to split and grow sideways.
All the shoots growing above the mesh need to be woven into the net as they grow. Longer shoots may need to be tied to the net with plant ties. This is how the grower creates a blanket-like structure of bud sights; each bud sight equally exposed to the light. The result is many buds of equal quality and size.
All the shoots growing below the mesh need to be pruned, so that the plant may focus its energy on the shoots and bud sights above the mesh.
Once in flower, the branches and leaves below the mesh need to be trimmed so as to allow circulation between the buds. A sea of buds will grow vertically up through the mesh, and you will want to prevent mold and mildew by keeping your airflow constant.
A SCROG grow generally takes a few weeks longer than other methods, such as ‘sea of green’. The reward however, is a significantly greater yield. Practice makes perfect with this one, so expect to get better as you go.
Deciding on which method to use is completely based on personal preference.
Below we have listed some of the advantages and disadvantages of a SCROG.
- Produces consistent, high quality buds.
- Few plants can yield loads of bud. In areas where growers have legal limitations on the number of plants they can grow, this is an obvious choice. Growers report up to a 20% increase in yield when growing with a SCROG.
- Ideal for grow spaces with height limitations.
- Indica and sativa strains cannot be easily grown in the same mesh due to differences in height.
- The vegetative phase takes approximately three weeks longer.
- Does not work well with auto-flowering strains.